On Wednesday, the Naismith Trophy announced its top 30 players in consideration for the 2018 men’s college player of the year. The Big East and Big 12 are tied for the lead with five players each, followed by the ACC and Big Ten with four apiece. The 10 semifinalists will be announced on Feb. 28.
Electrifying Oklahoma freshman guard Trae Young is on the list, as expected. Young leads all Division I players in scoring and assists per game as he looks to lead the Sooners to their second Final Four in three seasons. With a strong individual finish, Young has a chance to average 30 points and 10 assists per game.Young isn’t the only freshman on the list. Arizona’s Deandre Ayton and Duke’s Marvin Bagley III, often compared to one another, are also in the running for the Naismith. Ayton is putting up 19.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, while Bagley is averaging 21.2 and 11.4 for Duke. Despite having several well-known teammates, Bagley is the only Blue Devil to make the final 30.
The list contains several upperclassmen, too, headlined by Villanova point guard Jalen Brunson. Brunson has a chance to win his second national championship in three seasons with the Wildcats, and is averaging 20.1 points and 4.7 assists as a junior. Mikal Bridges, Brunson’s teammate, also makes the list. Bridges is shooting a career-high 41 percent from 3-point land this year.
Another talented Bridges, Miles, also makes the final 30. The Michigan State Spartan solidified his candidacy after a huge showing against Purdue over the weekend, where he scored 20 points and hit the game-winning 3-pointer. Bridges is the only Spartan to make the list.
Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, the creator of the game of basketball, the first Naismith trophy was awarded in 1969 to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor, later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Here's the full list:
|Marvin Bagley III||Freshman||F||Duke||ACC|
|Mohamed Bamba||Freshman||F||Texas||Big 12|
|Keita Bates-Diop||Junior||F||Ohio State||Big Ten|
|Joel Berry II||Senior||G||North Carolina||ACC|
|Trevon Bluiett||Senior||G||Xavier||BIG EAST|
|Mikal Bridges||Junior||G/F||Villanova||BIG EAST|
|Miles Bridges||Sophomore||G/F||Michigan State||Big Ten|
|Jalen Brunson||Junior||G||Villanova||BIG EAST|
|Jevon Carter||Senior||G||West Virginia||Big 12|
|Gary Clark||Junior||F||Cincinnati||American Athletic|
|Mike Daum||Junior||F||South Dakota State||Summit League|
|Angel Delgado||Senior||C||Seton Hall||BIG EAST|
|Carsen Edwards||Sophomore||G||Purdue||Big Ten|
|Vince Edwards||Senior||F||Purdue||Big Ten|
|Keenan Evans||Senior||G||Texas Tech||Big 12|
|Marcus Foster||Senior||G||Creighton||BIG EAST|
|Devonte' Graham||Senior||G||Kansas||Big 12|
|Tra Holder||Senior||G||Arizona State||Pac-12|
|Chandler Hutchison||Senior||G||Boise State||Mountain West|
|Jock Landale||Senior||C||St. Mary's||WCC|
|Caleb Martin||Junior||F||Nevada||Mountain West|
|Luke Maye||Junior||F||North Carolina||ACC|
|Landry Shamet||Sophomore||G||Wichita State||American Athletic|
|Trae Young||Freshman||G||Oklahoma||Big 12|